7 Reasons Why I Blog

Since from childhood I always want to write. I don’t have the skills in writing and I struggle in English a little bit. But I really want to become a writer someday. I want to express myself through writing. I want to let the world know what I feel, what I think.

Then a few years ago, finally, I had a constant access to the internet and I became interested in website making.  At first, I was really busy trying to discover on how to make a website.  While having my own self study, I found out the latest trend on web development, Blogging.

Yes, blogging. I was more than happy to know that there is now a way for me to express myself. To give myself a freedom to write sharing all my interests in life. Sharing something that I know, something where I am the expert.

And that’s not it. I also found out that I can even monetize my blog which gave me deeper interest into it.  This tells me that I can earn more than the royalties that I can get from writing a book.

You don’t have to be a professional writer to be a blogger. After all, blog was designed to be an online diary. But nowadays, this online diary is being used to boost both online and offline businesses.

Here are few things that you can do in blogging:

1.    Express yourself. There are probably thousands of bloggers out there that use blogging to simply express themselves.
2.    Practice writing. Probably you are not a born writer just like me. So what? You can still write as long as you understand it. And why not practice writing by blogging?
3.    Help you make a book. As time goes by, as you write and express yourself consistently, you will find out one day that you can actually print and author your own book.
4.    Source of extra income. Why not make your personal journaling an extra source of income. It’s like hitting two birds with one bullet. You journal and get some income.
5.    Establish yourself to be an expert of something. Blogging can reveal where you are an expert. It can build you up as a person.
6.    Build a business. If you can have extra income out of it, you can definitely build a full blown business out of it. Talk about your business on your blog. You can build a good list of prospective customer out of it.
7.    Increase your knowledge. Blogging can definitely increase your knowledge on things that you write. As you blog, you will build your own community that has the same interest and as they contribute their own knowledge through commenting, you yourself is increasing your own expertise on that particular thing.

I don’t know if you love blogging. As for me, I already became addicted to it. It’s just so fun writing everything you know while other people read and thank you for sharing it. Blogging did not only fulfill my dream to be a writer, it also builds me up to be a better person.
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How To Increase Your Readership

The readership of your blog is one of the measures your blog on how important and meaningful it is. Marketing aside, you will see the importance of a blog literally on the number of comments that is being generated.

Statistically, you will see how long your visitor stays through Google Analytics. The bounce rate is the statistical data that tells how long your visitors stayed. The higher it is, the shorter your visitors stay on your blog. This means that you will have to decrease that high rate.

How?

Here are some ways to do it:

1.    High Quality Content –
High quality content does not only increase traffic, but also encourages your visitors to read more. The more information you provide the more reason for them to stay.

2.    Plugins That Promotes Commenting – There are several plugins that you may want to install which are very effective in encouraging your readers to leave a comment.
  • Yet Another Related Post (YARPP) – This displays the most relevant posts in your blog based on your post tags.
  • Subscribe To Comments – Enables the one who commented to simply follow the comment thread in a certain post via email.
  • CommentLuv – My favorite. You can read the whole article that I have made for this great plugin here: Why Install a CommentLuv Plugin

3.    Internal Linking – This is done by simply quoting and linking to some of your previously written posts. This is very effective especially if your content is highly relevant.

4.    Comment to Other Blogs –
Commenting to other blogs is also exposing yourself to the whole blogging world. Try to leave comments to blogs that has CommentLuv plugins and those blogs with high commenting rate. In this way, more fellow bloggers will be able to see you with a link going to your blog. This will be a win-Win situation for you and to the blog where you commented.

These are just simple ways that you can do to increase the readership of your blog. Remember, the more repeat visitors you have, the more encouraging it is to write and blog.
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The Technical Thought Of You: How To Customize Your Blogger CommentLuv's Skin

CommentLuv was originally created for Wordpress users. When this is still new, I think I'm probably one of the first 2,000 users of this plugin. I installed it in my blog The Disciplers. This one might not be too important for those who really do not know the main use of this plugin. So here's the four main reasons why you need to install CommentLuv plugin to your blogger.

1. Encourage your readers to comment more. Why not? This plugin automatically place a link to the latest post on your visitor's blog. He just need to be sure that he filled up the website form for him to take advantage of this one.

2. It gives more discussion among the commentators. CommentLuv encourages to comment more. More comments, more discussion.

3. It widens your network as a blogger. As you see the links in the comments of your visitors, you will  probably be inclined to follow that blog. And there is nothing wrong in contacting the owner of the blog that you followed if you like his posts too especially if it is directly related to your site.

4. Increases Your Blog's Page Rank. If the blog being commented to is a "dofollow" blogs, then this will take out all the hustles in typing your link in this blog.

So? What are you waiting for? The link below will direct you to the instructions on how can your integrate CommentLuv with Blogger.

The Technical Thought Of You: How To Customize Your Blogger CommentLuv's Skin
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Blogussion Give Away

Just a quick line here, I just want to inform everybody that there is an ongoing contest until June 30, 2010. The prize is the licensed theme of Blogussion for Wordpress.

As we all know, Thesis is just an awesome Wordpress add-on integration which is being used by thousands of professional bloggers around the world. But you might wonder how in the world this young kid blogger was able to improve the designing capability of this awesome software.

Blogussion Theme is $44.95. But how about getting it for FREE???

I know a contest that you might want to join.

You can CLICK HERE if you want to join!

Now to give you a picture of what's inside this theme, here are some snapshots:

Practically, since it is based on the Thesis Framework, this theme is similarly awesome.

Again, this cost $44.95. But you can get for free if you will win the contest. But for easy access and without much-a-do, you can simply click the button below:

blogussion
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Measurement of a Good Hosting Company

Before you start your blog, it is very important that you host your blog in a reliable hosting company. There are basically hundreds of hosting companies out there, but only a few offers a satisfactory service. Barely a handful of these companies can satisfy your need as a web master.


When I first started on pro blogging, I decided to go to the cheapest webhost that I know in the Philippines. To my dismay, I landed on one of those poor hosting companies who does not even mind emailing their clients for trouble shooting. Believe me, it caused me more troubles to salvage my 3 month old blog than starting a brand new one.

So what's the measurement of a good webhosting company? I already made a detailed lecture on this in one of my ebooks that I guess will be helpful for you to read. But here's a short list of the things that you may want to consider before deciding.

Client Support

This is the most important factor that you may want to consider. This is because client support will be the back bone of your blog or website when something goes wrong. Keep in mind that there is no blog or website that is exempted from crashes, errors, virus, and all other threats. Your client support will be your help line when something goes wrong.

As for my experience, my first webhost responds to my questions after 3 days. I usually have problem with my website especially when they started to transfer my files to another hardware. My website is usually down for a week every other week. It is was indeed a nightmare for any webmaster.


So I decided to move to another webhost. This time, I got a far better one. Even during holidays, the owner of the company himself will replies to my inquiry if his employees are not available.

Here's the tip that you don't want to miss. This is worth trying if you find a hosting company and is planning to work in it. Try this; try to send a technical question concerning webhosting in relation with the services they offer. If that hosting company replies within 24 hours, try it again for the second time. If he replies again within 24 hours, you probably have scouted a good hosting company. On the other hand, if that hosting company responded beyond 24 hours, then that company is probably a owned by only one person, or have a very poor service.

Important Technical Features to Consider
Capacity – Let us put this in this way, any file that is made by the computer or through the computer consumes a portion of memory and stored in your hard drive. Similarly, websites are composed of files which uses hard drives. The only difference is that, if you are hosting your website using a hosting company, these hosting companies provides a limited portion of the webhosting company's harddrive.

Bandwidth – Bandwidth is the amount of data being downloaded everytime a visitor access your blog. Usually hosting companies measure it by month. For example, the hosting company says that you have about 2 Gigabite bandwidth a month. It simply means that when you have tons of visitors visiting your website and your bandwidth already exceeded what was required, other visitors will no longer able to access your website until the next month. Therefore, as time goes by and your website gaining readers, you would likely need to consider upgrading your hosting account.

Platform Supported – There are many kinds of platforms out there. There is Wordpress, Blogger, Drupal, Typepad, etc. Not all hosting companies support all platforms. But most webhosting companies support almost all of these platforms. You have to remember that platform is not actually necessary to make a website, but platforms does help a lot in making your life easier in making your blog and website beautiful and easier to use.

As for my experience, I strongly suggest Wordpress since it is the one that I have been using. There are more platforms out there. So simply just choose what seems best for you.

On the other hand, there are hosting companies that do not use the regular platform, instead, they provide their own platform and gives their clients real good deal of tools in website making especially in SEO tools which is very essential for every website.

Here are my highly recommended Web Hosts:

Hostgator Hostgator is probably the most well known cheap Web Host in the net. It supports a wide variety of platforms including Wordpress. There are hundreds of professional bloggers who uses Hostgator.

Site Built ItI ONLY recommend this if you are working on a Website other than a blog alone. Site Build It is easier for you to use if you are building a Website. But it will be a very technical job for you if you only want a blog and want to install Wordpress.

The advantage of this however is that, once you have set up your Website (which is far better than just a blog) you can also set up a blog using its own platform. Please note that they do not support Wordpress.

Aside from that, Site Build It literally provides EVERYTHING you need to have a website. It maybe a little expensive at the first look, but believe me, it is actually the CHEAPEST for it has all the things you need for a website. Such include Autoresponder, platform, email sign up, auto url submission, etc.

You get more than just a "site builder." You don't need to worry about looking for separate hosting, paying for a separate keyword research tool, handling site submissions, integrating autoresponders, etc., etc. See the full list of features here -- pick the most relevant ones for you and your reader.
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Official Google Blog: Blogger Template Designer now available to everyone

Good news to Blogger / blogspot users. The template designer that was first used in draft.blogger.com has now been fully integrated in Blogger.com. You can now fully customize your blog the way you want it.

You can choose from several blog designs plus you can customize 2 or 3 columns the way you want it. There are lots of customization choices that you will really like. For years, this has been a great set back from Blogger users. They have boring designs and a very minimal customizations. But this one is a great leap of Blogger.com.

All I can say is congratulations to Google for doing this. I think all is lacking is a more SE Optimization options similar to Wordpress.

Official Google Blog: Blogger Template Designer now available to everyone
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